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   Chapter 20 No.20

My Sister's Keeper By Bill Benners Characters: 6946

Updated: 2018-05-28 11:03


I HADN'T HAD TIME to get a coat and the cold air was almost unbearable as I trailed the Corvette through town. The helmet's interior support straps dug into my stitches and tormented me with every bump. I took down the man's license plate number and was about to head back when he made a left turn toward Wrightsville Beach and I decided to stay with him a little longer.

He crossed the bridge to the barrier island and turned north where the air got much colder and tasted heavily of salt. The moon accompanied me, its reflection sparkling like diamonds off the ocean.

Many of the homes in Wrightsville Beach had been built in the first half of the twentieth century. One-story wooden white structures with colorful shutters and screened porches that sometimes wrapped completely around them. The vegetation was minimal and most driveways were sand, shell, or rock. In summer, there would be cars parked all around the cottages with surfboards on their roofs or leaning against the buildings, flags flapping in the wind, and men and women in flip-flops and sandals walking everywhere.

As we rode farther up the island, the houses got newer and larger. Finally, the Corvette slowed and turned into the drive of a well-lit elegant three-story residence sitting high on pilings overlooking the ocean.

Slowing, I turned up the driveway of an unoccupied weekend rental on the opposite side of the road, parked the bike under it, and lifted the helmet off.

Across the road, the car slid up under the beach house and extinguished its lights. John-Boy got out, leapt up the wide front staircase to the main floor, and disappeared inside.

Outdoor lighting burned brightly around the house and I doubted I'd be able to get very close until it was off. Leaving the bike, I hiked up the road, cut through a vacant lot to the beach, and drifted back toward the house.

An icy breeze blustered off the ocean and the flags up and down the shore popped and clinked on their metal poles. Waves crashed onto shore and pushed almost to the dunes before receding. With sea foam blowi

whispered something I couldn't hear then raised her voice a little.

"Bobby, it's me, Angie." She turned her head and looked back at the dark house. The moon reappeared and lit the porch like a floodlight. I remained motionless watching her through the budding tree.

"No, I'm still here, " she whispered, turning away and tucking her head down. "I don't know—tomorrow maybe. Something's happened to one of the girls. Everything has been crazy."

A light came on in the room behind me and Angie hopped down a couple of steps, bent lower, and twisted around surveying the activity inside with frightened eyes. I dared not move. I would now be a silhouette against the bright room to Angie and easily visible through the glass from the inside. I was trapped.

I could hear my heart pounding and resisted the instinctive urge to leap over Angie and flee for my life.

"I've got to go, " Angie whispered. "I love you, too. I'll call you later." She turned the phone off, dropped it back into her robe pocket, and hunkered lower on the steps. Her reddish hair was pinned up behind her ears and her face was covered with freckles. She couldn't have been more than eighteen and looked closer to fifteen. She slid backward another step and clasped the neck of her robe closed. She suddenly gasped and flailed backward nearly losing her balance as her bright blue eyes discovered me.

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